Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
VOCAL March 2016 Showcase
This month’s showcase at O’Toole’s, was marked by an unusual format which witnessed the two performers, Steve Nuckolls and Matthew Costello alternating songs. Usually, The performers do a set of songs. The concept worked out well as the audience seemed to enjoy hearing the contrast in style and sound. Both songwriters chose guitars to present their material.
Steve’s songs are marked by (S) and Matthew’s by (M).
Opening the performance was the “Lines of Love” (S) a ballad about how what we say helps define who we are in a relationship. Two short songs (M) from a theatrical production followed, “Promises” and “Walking on the Roofs” which were mood pieces to fill in interludes between scenes of a play. In “Gibson Guitar” (S) we followed the singer as he journeyed through a furniture store in pursuit of a Gibson Guitar which was being sold there. Unusual, in that you don’t usually find guitars for sale in furniture stores, therefore making the song unusual as well. Continuing the thread of theatre songs (M) “little Bird” and “Nobody Can Catch the Wind” followed. “Grayson Lady” (S) gave the audience a wide ranging picture of the beauty you can find in southwest Virginia, such as lush green valleys and majestic hills. “Bad News” (M) took us up on top of the Golden Gate bridge and then took us sliding down, and “In My Soul” led us through a series of mental images conjured up by the singer’s imagination. Dedicated to his wife, “Something About Your Love” (S) was a mid-tempo song that saluted all the things the singer found attractive in his lover’s demeanor. Picking up the tempo, “Quarter to Three” (M) was a rockabilly rouser that expressed the singer’s intention to stay out and party until the wee hours of the morning. At this juncture, the singers took a well deserved break while the audience ordered another round.
The second half of the show kicked off with the very funny “Meaningful One Night Stand” (M) in which the singer goes through a few relationships trying to find the right one but is teased by Loretta and pushed around by Rosemary until Ivy gets pregnant and the song title’s irony is realized. “When Like Turns to Love” (S) would seem lile sa promising premise, unless that is not your intentions as in this case, when turning to love is equated to rain turning to snow. Melodizing a poem by Jon Harman, “Everything But Love” (M)is a sad ballad bemoaning the breakdown of a relationship and pictures the despair that ensues when love goes bad. “Open Doors” (S) in contrast, gives us a picture of the beautiful world that exists around us if we pay attention to our surroundings and take the time to enjoy what God has given us. “Faith” (M) has another inspirational message advising “Fear will blind us, Faith will show us the way” underscored in this song by examples of people in various stages of life’s turmoil. “Somanye” (S) comes from the singer’s real life experience in South Africa observing the way of life of the native population and expressing his appreciation of it. Only the most rabid Elvis fan would go so far as to try and dig up The King’s remains, but not the singer (M) who in “Digging For Elvis” will do anything to add to his collection of Elvis memorabilia and trivia, which includes a little midnight excavation. Last song of the night “On the Backroads” (S) takes us again to southwest Virginia, and extols the virtues of country living, the beauty that abounds and the carefree life style.
The intimacy and warmth of the performances carried over after the show as many of the audience hung around to congratulate the singers and chat with others in attendance. A great night for VOCAL.